The Different Cloud Models and What to Look for When Choosing a Provider

When talking about different Cloud Models, it’s easy to get lost in the jargon. Making the decision to implement cloud services for your application or infrastructure deployment, makes it crucial for your business to understand the distinct differences between the core categories of cloud services available.

After all, the cloud is a very wide-ranging concept, and it encompasses pretty much every possible variety of online service. However, when businesses speak of cloud procurement, there are usually three main cloud models that spring to mind: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

The difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

Each of the three main cloud models has its own complexities and hybrids, and in a bid to help better understand each of the multifaceted differences between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, we will be discussing the differences between each here. We will also be discussing four crucial things to look out for when choosing your cloud provider.

  • Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) represents the most implemented option for businesses in the cloud market. It’s a software distribution model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis. It is centrally hosted and made available to customers over the internet by an external provider.

This service is a popularly utilised software licensing and delivery model in the business world, as with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

  • Platform as a Service

Platform as a Service (PaaS) performs at a lesser level than SaaS. Generally, it offers a platform on which software can be developed and utilised. It provides a basis as such for developers to build upon and to create tailored applications.

The idea is that a third-party provider manages all servers, storage, and networking on behalf of a business, while the developers can maintain management of the applications.

  •  Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides the central building blocks for cloud services and is made up of highly scalable and automated compute resources.

IaaS enables companies to purchase resources on-demand, as required, as opposed to having to buy hardware outright. It’s a self-service as such for accessing and monitoring things like pooled server and networking resources in which a business can store data and run applications, cloud hosting for the websites on virtual servers, and virtual data centres.

What are the advantages of cloud models?

Many companies opt for cloud models because they are an effective alternative to buying and installing their own software, platforms, or infrastructure. With them, they bring a wide range of benefits to both companies and their employees.

From flexible payment arrangements, to greatly reducing the time and money spent on tedious tasks such as installing, managing, and upgrading software and hardware. This frees up a lot of time for technical staff to dedicate to more pressing matters within the business.

It’s important to recognise that SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are not merely cloud models, but highly secure platforms for your business data. And in order to gain the best cloud solution for your business, you’ll need to select the right supplier…

Key factors to look for when selecting a cloud supplier

  • Software multi-tenancy

Cloud models are a method of offering services for managing data, platforms and hardware to various customers. Often this is achieved via pieces of joint infrastructure, particularly with SaaS. A primary concern is therefore the security risk to sensitive resources. And due to this very risk, applications must be created in a way that they can force authentication and authorisation where required.

Be sure to ask your chosen provider about their security protocols and how they will continuously work to keep your data safe.

  • Configurability

Cloud computing enables users sharing and accessing computing resources in an on-demand way. In such an environment, using configurable process models enables cloud providers to deliver a customisable process in accordance with their client’s needs.

Each cloud model needs to cater for the vast needs of a wide range of users, even if they are intended to be suitable for every business. This means when searching for a provider, you must search for those who assist users, like yourself, in making the system adapt to the specific requirements of your business.

  • Scalability and recoverability

Cloud model providers must be able to comfortably handle the challenge of capacity management, so you needn’t worry about arranging additional sources or adding new users. Doing so, means your provider considering the multiple concerns prior to architecting the system, including:

  • Can further storage be added?
  • How will an escalation in usage be accommodated?
  • How will additional connectivity be added?
  • How will failures that occur in any part of the system be handled?

Should each of these concerns be accommodated by your provider from the beginning, the possibility for painful upgrades and outages later on will be avoided.

  • Connectability

You’ll want your cloud model to be customisable and therefore, connectable to any other system.

There is a natural tendency for network and cloud providers to collaborate and innovate and, ultimately, provide more value-added cloud services to their customers because of the interconnected nature of the cloud.

Businesses can therefore leverage these rich ecosystems to locate the best network and cloud providers to suit their unique workloads and processes, which at times may require a few different interdependent services.

Fulfilling your bespoke cloud requirements

Unlike other typical IT support companies, Rio IT focus on both the engineering and software development side of IT delivery. If you’d like to find out more about the tailored cloud services that we can provide your business with, contact our friendly team today.